November 23, 2014

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Romoser vetoes pay raises

LORAIN — Outgoing Mayor John Romoser exercised his first veto Thursday on an ordinance that would have given raises to the city’s auditor and treasurer.

City Council passed the ordinance in a 6-5 vote last week, but it needed a two-thirds majority — or eight votes — to make the ordinance take effect immediately.

Most ordinances take effect 30 days after they are passed, but Council has the option to hurry the process through with a super majority.

Without enough votes, the raises could not have taken effect because they would have been granted next month, when Treasurer Tom Urbanek and Auditor Ron Mantini begin new terms. Elected officials cannot accept raises during incumbent terms by law.

“It’s just a formality,” Romoser said after signing the veto. “I don’t want (Council) coming back and passing it now.”

Council now can’t reconsider the ordinance until Jan. 8 — 10 days after the veto takes effect — and the raises would not be granted until the next treasurer and auditor terms begin in 2012.

With the raises, Mantini would have made $76,585 next year, which is an increase of $5,515.

Urbanek’s salary would have increased to $67,000, an increase of $9,599.

Romoser wrote in the veto that the raises were not prudent while the city is in such a dire financial state.

Mantini has projected the city’s deficit will be $1.6 million for 2007.

Contact Adam Wright at 329-7151 or awright@chroniclet.com.